Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It Takes a Village

Since our son arrived in February we have had so much help, and it's still been hard to adjust to the dramatic increase in responsibility at times.  Initially we had friends and family bringing meals several times a week, which was wonderful, because otherwise we would have been eating out every single meal (or eating peanut butter sandwiches).  Each month has been easier than the previous one, particularly as Jackson has become more and more predictable and I've cut back on pumping (at one time I was pumping over 3 hours a day combined with 2 hours of bottle feeding). 

Since Jackson's arrival my husband's work travel schedule has increased tremendously.  Blake now  travels anywhere from once a month to every single week in a month.   When Jackson was a month old Blake's travel schedule exploded, and he was gone three out of four weeks in a row and I would get physically sick with anxiety--which even in hindsight I totally understand because things were SO much harder then.  Thankfully I don't feel very anxious anymore when Blake is gone, and I've learned that if he's going to be gone for more than 3 days I have to ask for--and accept help--even when I don't think I need it.

Yesterday my sweet neighbor volunteered to keep Jackson, and it allowed me to go visit my friend who is pregnant and on bed rest in the hospital (and to have a peaceful late lunch).  Last week it was too hot to take Jackson on a walk, thus I couldn't walk our dog who had been inside all day while we were out of town (and Blake was out of town).  So our neighbor offered to take him to the park when she walked her dog.  Tomorrow Blake's dad is watching Jackson for a little while just so I have some kid-free time and they get some one-on-one time.  All of this help not only helps me, but I think it's so good for Jackson to be with people besides me (and I love hearing about all of the different things others do with him that would never occur to me) and it really helps our marriage.  These breaks help me not meet my weary, over-traveled husband at the door with our child and exclaim "here, I am exhausted. Take him please. I am done!"  This help often allows us to have alone time to connect, worship, or even get chores done--and while our baby is with people we admire and trust.  What a blessing to have a village to help because we certainly need one!

p.s. I'm thankful for my crock pot.  I love cooking 8 portions of a meal at one time because that's the only way I avoid eating totally awful when Blake is gone.

1 comment:

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

I think any hardship is an immediate reminder of our families, local communities and even larger support networks. It was hard for me to accept any kind of help, but once I did, it eased our lives incredibly when Gavin was in the NICU. I'm glad to see you've come to accept your village of strong arms and hands willing to help you, as I'm sure you will help others when it's their turn to be in a time of need. Also? You've reminded me how much I miss winter cooking. I don't necessarily love our slow cooker, but I do love our Dutch oven and making chili and stews and lasagna in it, enough to freeze portions for future meals!